Since we live in the age of the ubiquitous status update, you are already familiar with spying and being spied, watching and being watched, surveying and being surveyed. So you will make that familiarity manifest by writing poems as a secret agent; inventing a cover story; composing an interrogation; and spying on the culture that spies on you. We will read the work of poet-spies (perhaps John Hollander’s Reflections on Espionage; Judy Grahn’s A Woman Is Talking to Death and Constance Merritt’s “Invisible Woman, Dancing”). Broad questions for the week include: What do I feel I cannot reveal in poems? What am I afraid of? How can I use the fictive to tell the truth?
At the end of the class, you will receive an email that discusses the merits of your new poems and strategies for moving forward.
Jillian Weise’s collection, The Book of Goodbyes, won the 2013 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the 2013 Isabella Gardner Award from BOA Editions. Her other books include the novel The Colony and The Amputee’s Guide to Sex. She was awarded fellowships/residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Fulbright Program, the Lannan Foundation and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She worked as an editorial assistant at The Paris Review and an editor-in-residence at The Iowa Review. Recent performance art, as Tipsy Tullivan, has been cited by Publishers Weekly and Inside Higher Ed. She is an Associate Professor at Clemson University.